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Ubisoft exec discusses why console launch games are underwhelming

Tony Key also says Watch Dog delay was necessary to give the property staying power

Ubisoft executive Tony Key has moved to explain why he believes many console launch games are underwhelming.

Key, senior vice president of sales and marketing at Ubisoft, told GamesIndustry.biz that the need to split resources between current and next-gen versions of titles was a major contributing factor.

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"Right now, all publishers are transitioning their development resources," he said. "For a game like Assassin's Creed: Black Flag, most of the sales are still going to be on current generation platforms. We can't make a version for PlayStation 4 or Xbox One that's so wildly different that we can't market them together.

"So, for now, developers and designers are focused on making a game that works really well on all of the systems - but as we transition resources to the next gen, it's going to be more difficult to do that because the power of these machines is going to allow so much more creativity."

Key went on to explain that, since final console specs are locked down late in the day, Ubisoft's last-minute decision to delay Watch Dogs was made so that it could better take advantage of the new hardware and polish the game.

"It's heartbreaking to be so coveted for launch and not be able to deliver it at launch, but from a business perspective, it's not a difficult decision to make," he said.

"Watch Dogs is designed to be a long-term brand for Ubisoft. We won't launch it until we know it's equalling the vision it can achieve. ... We're playing the long game - and as a company, we know how important it is to get it right."

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